Enjoy a gentle stroll overlooking The Mere, watch the many water birds that flock here and relax over tea and cake in the historic Boathouse.
The Mere is based in North Shropshire, in Ellesmere SY12 0PA on the A528 Shrewsbury road.
Lat/Long: 52.90913, -2.8846846
The Mere at Ellesmere is an award winning Park with a beautiful lake with gardens, woodland walks and historic parkland on the edge of the medieval market town of Ellesmere. It is the largest of nine meres and mosses that can be found in the unique Shropshire landscape.
The Mere, at 46 hectares, is the largest of Shropshire’s meres. Located on the edge of Ellesmere in North Shropshire, The Mere and its immediate setting demonstrate a rich diversity of natural and cultural heritage.
The thick glacial sands, gravels and boulder clays of the Cheshire Basin extend southward into North Shropshire, where they produce a flat or gently undulating landscape. In and around Ellesmere this landscape is interspersed with hummocks and lakes formed in front of receding glaciers. The meres and mosses including those surrounding Ellesmere were formed by the retreat of glaciers during the last ice age some 12,000 years ago. The meres that were formed are known as ‘kettle holes’ and resulted from large blocks of ice from the glacier creating deep holes in the glacial moraine. Local soils within the park are of the typical brown earths (non-alluvial loamy soils with a non-calcareous subsoil) and typical stagnogley soils (clay enriched subsoil with distinct topsoil).
The landscape and archaeology features and the history of the park’s evolution are key to understanding its significance nationally and regionally. Its exploitation and use extends from pre-history for fishing, then for defence during the 11th century, through industrial exploitation in the 17th century and ultimately for recreation, initially solely for the gentry during the 19th century and ultimately by the public from the mid 20th century onwards.
The Motte and Bailey, a scheduled ancient monument is of national significance and occupies what was once one of the most significant positions in the County. The buildings on the mereside relate to the unique historic development of the Mere and its setting by aristocratic proprietors. The development of the buildings in the park is of regional significance. Ellesmere House lies adjacent to the park and is now in private ownership however it is important in terms of the context of the park. The Garden Terraces which once formed the terraced walkway link between the house and the Mere are of regional and local significance.
The park is predominantly flat, and provides a number of easy access walking routes. The highest point is the remains of the Motte & Bailey which along with the Garden Terrace walks afford views over the surrounding landscape.
The Mere was enclosed as part of the development of the Bridgewater Estate at Ellesmere House from c.1854 when the area now known as Cremorne Gardens became the ‘pleasure grounds’ to the Bridgewater family, inventors of the British inland navigation system. Its subsequent owners, the Brownlow family, transferred The Mere and the grounds around it by deed of gift ‘for the benefit of the public’ in 1953.
Use of the park has developed over the years and now consists of a series of linked but distinctive ‘character areas’ offering a wide range of heritage experiences.
The Mere Boathouse and Visitor Centre bring together the key public facilities in the park into one building. The kiosk which sits on the Promenade provides snacks and light refreshments.
Cremorne Gardens provides additional public toilets, a children's play area and an adventure play area. The Gardens and promenade provide formal beds, specimen trees, lawns and seating. There are two pay and display car parks at the Moors and Castlefields. The park provides a number of themed walks which encourage the exploration of the park, provides interpretation of its heritage and makes links with Ellesmere town, the Llangollen Canal and surrounding countryside. The site also provides for fishing and boating activities.
Things to see and do
- Visit the Mere visitor centre to see live images of the herons nesting on Heron Island during the spring months.
- Enjoy a walk along the Promenade at The Mere - a great place to watch the wildlife or just watch the world go by.
- Follow the all-ability trail at The Mere through Cremorne Gardens and round the shore of the Mere through magnificent avenues of chestnut and beech.
- Try out the new 'Tree Trail' which includes both young specimens and veteran trees. The leaflet is available to download in PDF via the link on this page. Or - download the app via TiCL.com 'The Mere at Ellesmere Tree Trail.'